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MTAA-RR » texts » conceptual:

Conceptual Art in Relation to MTAA’s Net Art (formatted for chat)
2001, performed live via streaming video and chat during the "Warhol Hijack"

Lucy Lippard (noted art critic) describes conceptual art as "[artwork] in which the idea is paramount and the material form is secondary, lightweight, ephemeral, cheap, unpretentious and/or ‘dematerialized’".

Net art may be loosely defined as art which uses the internet as one of it’s primary components.

This art history lesson will begin with Marcel Duchamp, inventor of the ready made.

Duchamp’s work was one of the precursors of conceptual art.

Duchamp’s place in the history of conceptual art is analogous to MTAA’s place in the history of net art.

Marcel Duchamp was a French artist who was active from the first decade of the 20th century until the 1960s.

Marcel Duchamp liked to play chess. He sometimes preferred playing chess to making art.

MTAA are American artists who are active right now (early 21st century).

MTAA like to play Quake. They sometimes prefer it to making art.

Duchamp invented the ready made.

MTAA invented the art movement known as Artainment. (

A ready made is an art object that has been found or chosen by the artist. The artist simply puts the ready made into an art context such as an exhibition or gallery.

This may seem lazy or underhanded to someone who hasn’t spent much time thinking about art, but in practice this concept can be quite explosive.

Some art historians group Duchamp with an art movement called DaDa.

DaDa was an art movement of the early 20th century that emphasized the ridiculous or absurd as opposed to the logical or beautiful.

DaDa is sometimes attributed to artists’ disillusionment with society following World War I.

DaDa is sometimes thought of as anti-art.

Net Art is sometimes hard to understand in an art context at all.

Pop Art, when it first surfaced in the early 1960s, was called Neo-DaDa. Andy Warhol was one of the first Pop artists.

Andy Warhol’s use of soup cans and brillo boxes as subject matter is what caused critics and historians to call his work Neo-DaDa.

Andy Warhol is quoted as saying that in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.

MTAA are quoted as saying "Meaning in Misunderstanding", "The Art Happens Here", and "Hey! Which one of you motherfuckers took my beer?"

But let’s get back to Duchamp…

Duchamp quit art at different times throughout his career. At one point he quit art to pursue a strategy for winning at roulette. He issued a bond called the Monte Carlo Bond in order to fund his research into his roulette strategy.

MTAA believe this entire episode in Duchamp’s career was a statement on the art market. Some collectors buy art in the hopes that it will be a good investment. It’s like gambling.

MTAA sell art websites over the internet for low prices, we hope that collectors will gamble on our artwork. (We have discontinued this offer

So on with history…

Artists didn’t really respond to Duchamp’s advances in art theory until the 1960s.

MTAA expect that artists will be responding to our advances in art history later tonight.

Fluxus was one response to Duchamp’s anti-art position.

Yoko Ono was a Fluxus artist until she became John Lennon’s girlfriend.

Fluxus was an art movement that did away with the word art all together, they called their activities Fluxus or Fluxism.

MTAA call their activities Artainment. (

Fluxus activities took the form of banal or everyday activities and scripts which compose everyday activities like a music composition composes music.

The Fluxus idea of composing everyday actions is related to John Cage’s musical compositions. We will not go into the influence of John Cage on music, dance and art at this time.

Sol LeWitt is an artist who creates his work by composing instructions and then having fabricators create the work in galleries or other exhibition spaces.

Sol LeWitt’s work mostly takes the form of wall drawings and sculptures.

MTAA’s Direct To Your Home Art Projects ( used a similar strategy, but in a more networked and democratic fashion.

In the early 1960s, artist Allan Kaprow invented an art form called "Happenings".

MTAA, when in performance art mode, refer to their activities as "Live Demonstrations."

In a Happening, a situation is created in which art activity takes place. This activity evolved into Performance Art.

German artist Joseph Beuys is one of the most famous performance artists.

Beuys talked about "Social Sculptures", meaning "how we mold and shape the world in which we live: Sculpture as an evolutionary process; everyone is an artist."

The internet has made the creation of Social Sculptures something that anyone can do.

Performance Artists use their bodies as the material of their artwork. Performance art uses aspects of visual art, dance, and theater.

MTAA consider Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol to be the German and American sides of the same coin. That is, both artists used their lives as the material for their art.

Josh Harris, the owner of, will contextualize the documentation of WeLiveInPublic within the art historical discourse of Performance, DaDa, Fluxus, and Conceptualism.

MTAA will contextualize our Live Demonstration: "Conceptual Art in Relation to MTAA’s Net Art" within the art historical discourse of Net Art and Artainment.

MTAA-RR » texts » conceptual

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